GKIDS announced today it has acquired all United States distribution rights for Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia, co-directed by Jean-Christophe Roger and Julien Chheng. A follow up to the Oscar-nominated Ernest & Celestine, the film once again features the famous unlikely duo — this time returning to Ernest’s hometown in Gibberitia.
Nominated for Best Animated Feature at France’s 48th César Awards, Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia opened in French theaters in December, and will have its U.S. Premiere as the opening night film of the New York International Children’s Film Festival this Friday, March 3.
GKIDS, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, previously handled United States distribution for Ernest & Celestine, which won the César Award for Best Animated Feature, before going on to earn GKIDS its third Academy Award nomination. Nearly 10 years later, GKIDS will release Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia theatrically in both its original French language and a new English dubbed version this year. The all-rights U.S. distribution deal was negotiated between GKIDS and Chloe Marquet, SVP International Sales at STUDIOCANAL.
“After 10 years, it’s wonderful to reunite with my favorite bear and mouse, Ernest and Celestine,” said GKIDS President David Jesteadt. “Ernest and Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia is full of the emotional warmth, comedy and stunning animation that made the original film so iconic. Films of this quality are increasingly rare, and we are honored to be able to partner again with the producers on a new chapter with these beloved characters.”
Marquet added, “We are thrilled to team up with GKIDS again and on the new adventures of Ernest and Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia . We know their incredible team will bring all of their talent and passion to releasing this film in U.S. theaters spreading the values of kindness and friendship that are so important to our beloved mouse and bear!”
Synopsis: Ernest and Celestine return in this delightful and joyous follow-up to their first Academy Award-nominated adventure, which introduced a bear and mouse as the unlikeliest of friends. Ernest remains an ursine troubadour dedicated to a life of music and art, and his constant grouchiness is softened by the creative whims of his mouse friend Celestine. When she accidentally breaks his beloved violin, they must take a long voyage to Ernest’s country of Gibberitia, home to the only artist who can repair it. But when they arrive, they are shocked to discover that all forms of music have been banned in Gibberitia for many years, and a land once known across the world for its incredible musicians has fallen silent. It is up to Ernest and Celestine and their new friends, including a mysterious masked outlaw, to bring music and happiness back to the land of bears.
Roger, director of the Ernest & Celestine: The Collection animated series, returns to the beloved characters as co-director, and is joined by Emmy-nominated co-director Chheng, who previously worked on the original Ernest & Celestine feature as a character animator, and serves as director for an upcoming installation of Star Wars: Visions Volume 2.
A France/Luxembourg co-production of Folivari, Melusine Prod./Studio 352 and STUDIOCANAL, the film is written by Guillaume Mautalent, Sébastien Oursel and Jean Regnaud, produced by Didier Brunner, Damien Brunner and Stéphan Roelants. The French voice cast features Pauline Brunner, Lambert Wilson, Michel Lerousseau and Céline Ronté.